Wednesday, May 20, 2009


A friend of mine recently went to see her primary care physician for a yearly check-up and since she is not me and some people read this blog who actually know me and therefore, might also know her, I am not going to divulge the specifics or her name.

That would be her story to tell.

Before she left her appointment, her doctor handed her an at home kit. A screening test for Fecal Occult Blood. Whatever that means... Bleh!

It came with it's own little biohazard packaging:

I couldn't get a decent picture of the outside of the packaging, but it boasts the contents as:
3 Slides
3 Collection Tissues
3 Applicator Sticks
1 Postal Service Approved Mailing Envelope
Complete Patient Instructions for use.

The three slides look like this:

As you can see, there are two little windows on each of the top two "slides".

I'll talk more about those little windows later.

Then, we have the "collection tissues". They're thicker than a regular tissue, but not as thick as a paper towel. In fact, I likened them to onion paper - then I noticed the water mark, which said, "Onion Skin".

The testee is supposed to float one of the three onion skin papers in the toilet and then take a dump on it.

After that, the testee should use one of the three applicator sticks to get a small poo sample on one end of the stick and smear it on the first of the two little windows of the "slide".

Then, the instructions advise to get another sample from a different portion of the poo log for the other window. Then, flush the whole ordeal (except the stick, of course).

The testee should repeat the previous actions for the next three poops.

Now, what in the HELL is the person supposed to do with their "slide" collection in between poops?

That is just nasty!

At any rate, when finished, the slide sample can be dropped off back at the physician's office or mailed in the special packaging.

By donating this little nightmare to me, I think you can see that my friend had already opted to NOT play "smear the poo" for herself. Frankly, I don't think I would either!


  1. Hmmm... if the doctor wanted the test it seems a little odd not to do it.You know if the doctor has to do it he's just gonna take the stick and get a sample himself one way or another :-0

    Oh instead of the tissues I would just take a dump on a paper plate and then send the whole log in to the doctor.

  2. Now, I could begin a rant on how, considering the current crisis mentality, we should be demanding the government take care of this for us. I mean, they are already screwing us in the ... you-know-what ... so they could just grab their own sample.

    But seeing how the government is bed hopping, how would we know who's sample it was?

    My gyn takes care of this for me. He gets paid a tidy little sum per hour, so it's the least he can do.

    I haven't had to fish through poo since my kids stopped putting everything in their mouths.

  3. I actually had to oversee one of these awful tests for my 2yr old. We had come back from Mexico where she'd gulped some bath water and vomited a few times - I wanted to be sure there wasn't anything still in her gut, since she was a bit sick when we returned this was our only option. The other test (yes, we had to do 2!!) was where you actually put a little poo in a small vile half-filled with some sort of weird solution...THEN you had to use one of those lovely little wooden sticks to mix it, before capping it and shaking it. Believe me, I made sure those caps were TIGHT. And, thank GOD I could just take her diaper, and did not deal with those little papers....ah, memories.

  4. Oh.geez. NASTY. I seriously could NOT do this little,um, Test. ick.yuck...nasty!

  5. Hmmm... I didn't know they had tests like this! How interesting! I don't know if I would do it or not! Kind of nasty!

    Hugs - Tiff

  6. Barfarama.

    Totally would NOT be doing this no matter how desperately needed!

  7. Since it is a yearly check up and if she isn't having any problems, I don't really blame her for deferring.

    It looks for blood in the stool which indicates internal bleeding and I know many primary care docs routinely pass those things out at a yearly physical.

    Without symptoms, I would not be inclined to deal with that unpleasantness either. If doc wants it that bad, he can mine for it himself.

  8. Ron - I'm thinking since she turned 40, maybe it's a new requirement? She's not doing it. LOL.

    Muze - Yep, I think I'd want the doc to just assist with the sample.

    Gigi - At least it was one of your kids, not your own poo! LOL.

    TGG - I can't picture myself doing any turd mining either!

    Tiff - I had never heard of such a thing, either!

    Vinomom - LOL!

    Christine - This was her first yearly exam since turning 40, so I think it's perhaps a routine thing, but three days worth of poo smears? Gag!

  9. It is so good to be married to a nurse. God love him! I cannot see myself doing this on my own either!

  10. I'm totally again poo-smearing, for what ever reason, no poo-smearing!

  11. Like, what do you say when people ask what you did today?
    'Oh, had breakfast, smeared a little poo...
    you know, the usual.

  12. OH. MY. GOD.
    I'm speechless.
    And that NEVER happens!

  13. Wow...Suddenly passing a urine sample through the little revolving door seems a lot less...Involved.

  14. Guess whose blog I decided to read at lunch?

  15. Ewwwwwwwwwwwww!

    Whenever I go for my annual check of the female parts, the doc always does his own deal to check for blood in the stool. That whole process you just described seems to me like it would be not only more expensive, but less good on every level I can imagine.


    Then, again, Dad did have a spell there when he had to poo in a can that he had to keep in the fridge until it was full enough to take to the doctor's office for whatever testing that requires a can o' poo.

    Your friend has my sympathies.

  16. That would be one complicated and well timed poop! Man, I'm pretty sure I'd screw it up. That's probably why you get 3 chances! :D lol

  17. Bitchy - if the ET were a nurse, I'd still be on my own for something like this. He is super-squeamish!

    Powdergirl - I agree! No poo smearing.

    Crazy Mo - Stuff like this just astounds me as well. You can imagine my delight when she showed it to me.

    RLL - this one is a show stopper.

    3C - Yep, I'll never hedge on a pee sample again! LOL.

    Sugar Cain - Oh, dude, sorry about that!

    BB - A good friend of ours has Crohn's Disease and he had to poo in the paint can like that too. And then the lab LOST his can!!

    Honeywine - I know I'd mess it up, probably be covered in poo and everything.

  18. Dude - in a word, no. And ew. And 'm a mom and scientist, who knows that poop is just poop and that testing is needed, but damn.


  19. Holy SHIT! I guess you it in the freezer between sessions? chance! Fishing for brown trout is not really my cup of tea!

  20. Ummm, hate to be negative here...but....if my mum had been given one of these tests a couple of years ago she wouldn't be dying now. My advice to anyone is to do the damn thing, gross or not. Dying of cancer is grosser, trust me!

    And you keep the fridge....argh


  21. I've handled so much poop over the last seven years...I've had more poop on my fingers then I would like to imagine...but when it's your own and you have to swab it...gross!
    I totally understand "michelle's" comment though, I guess if it could save your life then it's well worth it.

  22. My aunt recently had to do a 24 hour urine collection, so every time she had to pee, she'd have to take a jar out of the fridge, then take it back... for a whole day.

    I drink a lot of water, I worry that I'd need a second jar or something, lol.

  23. Nasty for sure....but...was there a need? Better safe than sorry I guess.....Actually I'd rather do this myself than have my doc do it...huge ick factor either way.

  24. Oh. Wow. There's actually a horrible test that I've never had to take.


    My sympathies to your friend.

  25. Tiff - I agree!

    Warren - You wouldn't be bent over, poking at your poo, then?

    Michelle - Oh, honey. I'm so sorry. I just think maybe there might be an easier way of obtaining that sample rather than a "do it yourself" kit.

    Chandra - Absolutely worth it, but isn't that what the docs get paid big bucks for?

    Blair - I would definitely need an extra jar.

    Rosemary - See, I'd rather the doc do it than me. The humiliation would be worth it to me.

    Renn - She's not doing the test kit. She said if the doc gave her another one next year, she might consider it.

  26. Oh c'mon people. Have none of you ever changed a dirty diaper?

    I had to do the doo doo test once but the kit was slightly different. It contained the little test windows but each test had a separate envelope.

    No onion paper involved. You simply take a dump, wipe your ass, then before tossing your nasty shit paper into the toilet (or if you are visiting San Antonio from Mexico, tossing it onto the bathroom floor so someone else can dispose of it), you wipe a little sample onto the test window.

    Then, you seal that little sample in the envelope. Repeat the same process for the next few dumps.

    Because the sample o'poo is sealed in each envelope (oh yea, you wanna write the name and date of dump on the envelope before sealing it), there is no offensive smell to ruin your fridge. I kept my special packages in the bathroom cabinet, but not near any tooth brushes.

    I know the idea of playing with poop is pretty disgusting, but really, as a few others have mentioned, it ain't that bad given the alternative.

    Oh, and the last time I had this little procedure done, it was when a doctor with enormous fingers had his way with me for what seemed like several uncomfortable minutes, then he did the spreading of the poo on the test strips himself.

    I know he tried to be professional about the whole thing (or hole thing), but I guess me whispering Harder, harder.. under my breath was not so smart.

    Okay, just kidding about that last part.

  27. Yeah, I'm thinking I would have opted out, too.

  28. Ummmm ... EEUUUWWWW!

    I have no other words ...

  29. yuck and then some- we have those same kits here and NO WAY !

  30. Everyone has already said what I was thinking, so let me finish....


  31. ETW, I'm a pretty good shot with a 9milly but I'll be darned if I could guarantee three direct hits on three paper dots floating in a typical domestic `karzie` (old Brit term for the lavvie). I think they are asking a lot in terms of marksmanship, when you can't possibly see the target. This sort of thing could confuse people and get you guys a bad name.

  32. First off...disgusting. Second, you're warped beyond help. Third, just for laughs, coat your hands with gooey brownies and then seal the envelopes. Man...that would be too funny.

  33. I was a little scairt to click on here with "Toys" in the subject line........??
    After that towel post I just wasn't sure. Of course being the weirdo that I am, I couldn't help myself. Nice phone. I really need a new one myself. I need new "toys", I mean a new "phone" anyway.
    Have a glamerous day darling :)

    Steady On
    Reggie Girl

  34. It was hard to read past "Fecal Occult Blood," since, as I'm sure you know, IT WOULD MAKE SUCH A GREAT BAND NAME!!!